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We are frequently mentioned in international media, and invited to share our thoughts at well-regarded events across the globe. Our companies get extensive coverage.

2021  |  2020  |  2019  |  2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011

Quest Ventures, ScaleUp Malaysia invest in 11 firms

Digital Life Asia

Women founders took center stage as ScaleUp Malaysia and Quest Ventures announced the selection of the Top 11 companies in their second cohort. Sixty-five percent of the scaleups selected consisted of women founders. Quest Ventures and ScaleUp Malaysia disbursed a total amount of RM2,750,000 (US$680,185) in investments for Cohort 2. These companies will receive an investment of RM250,000 (US$61,844) each to grow their business regionally in their #Quest2Scale.

“We had some amazing companies joining us as part of this cohort and we are proud of how far each of them has progressed in the program. This was a very difficult decision but ultimately, the investment committee selected the companies that they believed had the potential to grow their business regionally with the support of our partner, Quest Ventures,” said ScaleUp Malaysia Managing Partner Tay Shan Li in a press statement.

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Quest Ventures, Scale-up Malaysia back 11 startups

e27

Amount invested: The duo disbursed a total amount of MYR 2.8 million (US$680,000) in investments for their second cohort. These companies will receive an investment of MYR250,000 (US$61,000) each to grow their business regionally.

The 11 startups are:

ERTH (e-Waste Recycling Through Heroes): A social enterprise that specialises in collecting and recycling e-waste from household and businesses.

Fefifo: Pioneering digitalised, standardised farming in ready-to-farm modern farm spaces, to bring sustainable and profitable smallholder farming into Southeast Asia.

Hatio: Specialising in supply chain and logistics. Its services span warehouse automation, smart logistics, robotics, artificial intelligence and the internet of things.

Hauz: A data-driven enterprise solution that manages and monitors mobile workforce operations in the service industry.

Homa2u: An O2O firm building materials and interior finishes marketplace for house projects.

Kiddocare: An online platform that connects parents with trained Malaysian baby sitters and early childhood education providers for personalised, on-demand services.

Load2Go: An on-demand logistics platform for booking trucks for large freight, construction and manufacturing industries.

MMC: A food-based company that operates several different businesses, including a central kitchen, food mart, cafe and vending machines.

MyBump: A car wrap advertising company that matches brands with drivers for data-backed creative execution outdoor advertising.

Pomen: A SaaS automotive maintenance platform that specialises in connecting fleet companies and vehicle owners with workshops and service providers.

Quadby: The Nextdoor for universities. Quadby is a community app for students to find and chat with peers on campus.

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ScaleUp Malaysia, Quest Ventures invest in 11 companies

Digital News Asia

LOCAL accelerator ScaleUp Malaysia, which launched its second cohort of 20 companies in October 2020 in partnership with Quest Ventures, has selected 11 companies for their second cohort, disbursing a total of US$676,000 (RM2.75 million).

These 11 companies will receive an investment of US$61,844 (RM250,000) each to grow their business regionally, the company said in a statement. Diversity was also a highlight of this cohort, as 65% of the scaleups selected consisting of women founders.

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ScaleUp Malaysia & Quest Ventures Invests In 11 Companies On Their #Quest2Scale

Yahoo Finance

ScaleUp Malaysia which launched its second cohort of 20 companies in October 2020 in partnership with Quest Ventures has announced its selection of Top 11 companies, disbursing a total amount of RM2,750,000 (USD680,185) in investments for their second Cohort. These companies will receive an investment of RM250,000 (USD61,844) each to grow their business regionally.

Tay Shan Li, Managing Partner of ScaleUp Malaysia said, “We had some amazing companies joining us as part of this cohort and we are proud of how far each of them has progressed in the programme. This was a very difficult decision but ultimately, the investment committee selected the companies that they believed had the potential to grow their business regionally with the support of our partner, Quest Ventures.”

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Gojek hunts for a new head of marketing for Singapore

Marketing Magazine

Gojek is on the lookout for a new head of marketing in Singapore. This comes as its previous head of marketing for Singapore, Archishman Ramasubramanian, has moved on to take on the role of head of global demand, strategy and planning, transport group.

The appointed individual will be tasked to define the long term brand strategy for Gojek Singapore, according to a job posting seen by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE. He or she will also be responsible for driving growth and market share, as well as lead and further develop capabilities in the Gojek Singapore marketing team across digital, brand, CRM and creative channels. Additionally, the individual will have to collaborate with various teams, namely product, marketplace, operations and data, to determine the general long term consumer acquisition, retention, and driver engagement strategies. The new head of marketing will report to Jasper Distel, group head of international marketing at Gojek.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Seah, partner at Quest Ventures, said traction of joint business plans are often not uniform outside of host market. He added that a Gojek-Tokopedia merger would thus allow marketers to enter into joint business plans for the Indonesian market at the levels of Google or Facebook, which is “a scale unseen before in the marketing and data world”.

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Quest Ventures joins S$200,000 seed round for celebrity video platform Sendjoy

The Business Times

VENTURE capital firm Quest Ventures has joined a S$200,000 seed funding round for Singapore-based celebrity video platform Sendjoy to expand in Asia.

Sendjoy was launched in June 2020 by Singapore film producer Low Ser En and co-founder Lim Liang Chun. It said that it has grown from 20 “sendjoyers” – celebrities and talent who can be engaged for personalised greeting videos – to over 200. They include local celebrities Gurmit Singh and Nat Ho.

James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, said in a press statement: “Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw a rapidly growing need for consumers to find novel ways to stay connected to each other, and for celebrities and creators to be more creative in engaging their fans and communities when they can’t meet in person.

“The events of 2020 sped up consumer adoption of social video tools like Zoom and TikTok. Against this backdrop, Sendjoy is leading a new consumer behaviour of creating and sharing high-quality mobile video greetings through a digital marketplace approach.”

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Singapore-based social video firm Sendjoy raises $150k in seed round

Tech in Asia

Social video platform Sendjoy announced it has raised S$200,000 (US$150,800) in a seed round from venture capital firm Quest Ventures.

Founded by the British Film and Television Award-winning producer Low Ser En, Sendjoy is a personal video platform where users can book video messages from 200 popular celebrities and creators, including musicians, actors, comedians, and illustrators.

“The events of 2020 sped up consumer adoption of social video tools like Zoom and TikTok,” said James Tan, managing partner at Quest Ventures. “Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw a rapidly growing need for consumers to find novel ways to stay connected to each other.”

Sendjoy will capitalize on Southeast Asia’s booming online media market, which is poised to hit US$35 billion by 2025.

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Fintech startup GajiGesa raises US$2.5m in seed funding to expand reach in Indonesia

The Business Times

GAJIGESA, a fintech platform that allows users to access their wages in real-time, has raised US$2.5 million in seed funding to expand its reach in Indonesia. The round was co-led by US-based Defy.vc and Singapore-based Quest Ventures.

GajiGesa offers services such as Earned Wage Access (EWA), financial literacy content, bill payments and real-time analytics. Founded in 2020 by Vidit Agarwal and Martyna Malinowska, the startup aims to provide financial resilience for workers in Indonesia and help partner companies more effectively and easily manage their cash flow.

Mr Agarwal said that GajiGesa is aiming to build financial resilience “at scale”.

He added: “EWA is crucial to increasing the short-term financial wellness of Indonesian workers by eliminating their dependence on loan sharks or other informal and expensive sources of capital.”

Goh Yiping, a partner at Quest Ventures, agreed, saying: “GajiGesa’s platform is helping middle- to low-income workers who live pay cheque to pay cheque deal with stressful cash-flow issues. It provides much needed financial stability for employers and their employees during a time of unprecedented and continued economic uncertainty.”

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Myanmar turmoil threatens digital economy, say experts

KrASIA

As Myanmar’s military detained the country’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, together with other senior officials, on Monday, seizing control of the government, the internet suddenly went dark for many. The gag, which commenced at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, also crippled businesses that rely on broadband connectivity. It paralyzed the banking system, shutting ATMs and branches for the day, while fintech services such as payment and microfinance apps stopped to work.

Leading mobile wallet Wave Money was among the tech startups that had to suspend its services. Although it was back online on Tuesday, the firm fears further disruptions that could “slow down if not undo” the country’s efforts in building up a digital economy. “Any sector that depends on connectivity would be severely impacted,” a spokesperson told KrASIA. “Businesses and societies face a lot of challenges when telecommunication services are impaired.”

Jeffrey Seah, partner at Singapore-based VC firm Quest Ventures, believes that the investment climate will be slowing down “temporarily.” But he also thinks that it provides an opportunistic window for more “capabilities building” for the startups. “We are watching the situation closely to return to participate in the Myanmar digital economy,” he said.

Seah remains optimistic on the country’s potential. “The digital literacy and connectivity of the Burmese people and its wider diaspora have risen exponentially in the past decade,” he said. “We believe the talent in the tech ecosystem will continue to tap on those trends and continue their development amidst the recent uncertainty.”

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The financial wellness firm of ex-Uber, StanChart execs nets $2.5m in seed funding

Tech in Asia

Financial wellness platform GajiGesa has raised US$2.5 million in a seed round co-led by Silicon Valley’s Defy and early-stage VC firm Quest Ventures.

GK Plug and Play, Next Billion Ventures, Alto Partners Multi-Family Office, Kanmo Group, and a number of strategic angel investors also took part in the round, according to a statement.

Founded just last year, the Indonesia-headquartered startup created a fintech platform that provides member employees with financial management tools such as earned wage access and financial education. It also empowers employer partners with an enterprise-grade HR analytics platform to improve employee output.

The company was established by seasoned fintech veterans Martyna Malinowska, who previously worked as product lead at Standard Chartered Bank, and Vidit Agarwal, who was formerly Stripe’s head of business development for Asia Pacific with stints at Uber and Carro.

“GajiGesa’s financial wellness platform is helping middle to low income workers who live paycheck to paycheck deal with stressful cash flow issues,” said Quest Ventures partner Yiping Goh. “It provides much-needed financial stability for employers and their employees during a time of unprecedented and continued economic uncertainty.”

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GajiGesa, a fintech startup serving underbanked Indonesian workers, raises $2.5 million seed round

TechCrunch

GajiGesa, a fintech company that offers Earned Wage Access (EWA) and other services for workers in Indonesia, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. The round was co-led by Defy.vc and Quest Ventures. Other participants included GK Plug and Play, Next Billion Ventures, Alto Partners Multi-Family Office, Kanmo Group and strategic angel investors.

The company was founded last year by husband-and-wife team Vidit Agrawal and Martyna Malinowska. Agrawal was Uber’s first employee in Asia and has also served in leadership positions at Carro and Stripe. Malinowska led product development at Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures and alternative credit-scoring platform LenddoEFL.

About 66% of Indonesia’s 260 million population is “unbanked,” which means they don’t have a bank account and have limited access to financial services like loans. Agrawal and Malinowska decided to launch GajiGesa in Indonesia because Malinowska worked with many unbanked workers while at LenddoEFL.

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Former Carro COO’s financial wellness app GajiGesa bags US$2.5M seed for Indonesia expansion

e27

GajiGesa, an Indonesian financial wellness platform, announced today it has raised US$2.5 million in a seed funding round, co-led by Silicon Valley-based Defy.vc and Quest Ventures.

GK Plug and Play, Next Billion Ventures, Alto Partners, Kanmo Group and multiple strategic angel investors also participated.

As per the company, the fresh funds will be used to expand its platform in Indonesia while also scaling its tech team in Jakarta.

GajiGesa was launched in 2020 by the husband-wife duo of Vidit Agrawal and Martyna Malinowska. Agrawal was the first Uber employee in Asia and previously the COO of automotive marketplace startup Carro. Malinowska was previously at Standard Chartered and Singapore-based fintech startup LenddoEFL.

“GajiGesa’s financial wellness platform is helping middle to low-income workers who live paycheck to paycheck deal with stressful cash-flow issues. It provides much needed financial stability for employers and their employees during a time of unprecedented and continued economic uncertainty,” said Yiping Goh, Partner at Quest Ventures.

According to BPS (Statistics Indonesia) data, there are approximately 129 million workers in Indonesia, many of whom regularly face increased financial stress and hardship because of cash flow constraints, traditional monthly payment schedules, unexpected expenses, and limited financial access.

The World Bank Findex estimates over 70 per cent of Indonesians borrow from informal sources, often with extortionate interest rates and undesirable terms.

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ACE助力 创业生态百花齐放

联合早报

商会是各行业的领头羊,在企业转型的道路上,商会扮演了重要的角色。“一道来谈”栏目邀请积极转型的本地商会和会员,让他们一道分享转型的心路历程。

本期打头阵是创办于2003年的创业行动社群(Action Community for Entrepreneurship,简称ACE),与传统商会不同的是,ACE不局限于任何行业、主要面向本地起步公司,致力于在我国营造充满活力的创业生态环境,助本地创业者一臂之力。

早前由政府和私人企业家共同领导的创业行动社群(Action Community for Entrepreneurship,简称ACE),近20年来最大改变是在2014年走向私营化,转身变成非盈利的私有化公司。

ACE主席兼求索创投(Quest Ventures)合伙人陈中(46岁)接受《联合早报》访问时说,创业生态系统要取得成功须有五大关键支柱,除了起步公司之外,还要公共部门、高等教育机构、企业,以及风险资本之间相互配合。

统计局2019年数据显示,我国有3600家起步公司,聘用约1万8000名员工,且深耕不同领域,包括消费、金融、教育和医疗等。此外,本地也有150家创投公司和100个孵化公司与机构。

自2011年便加入ACE的陈中,曾担任董事会成员和副主席,去年正式升任主席,亲眼见证本地创业生态发展。他指出,冠病疫情来袭为起步公司带来机遇及挑战,有些因此被淘汰,不过有些却蓬勃发展,例如远程教育、医疗科技等。

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Singapore’s ‘voracious’ GIC tops list of most active state-linked investors, ahead of China and Japan

SCMP

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC emerged as the most active state-owned investor in the world last year, outranking larger state funds from China, Norway and Japan, as other investors downshifted amid the volatility brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report by independent data and analysis platform Global SWF comparing the activities of 438 state-owned investors, GIC, the 10th-largest state fund worldwide, deployed US$17.7 billion into 65 deals – down slightly from US$24 billion in 2019.

James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, said the success of Singapore’s state-owned investors was evident, pointing to how net investment returns were the largest contributor to Singapore’s government revenues, overtaking corporate and personal income taxes, as well as the goods and services tax.

Tan added that the sectors of interest in the past year were all geared towards how governments could better respond to future pandemics. Covid-19, he said, has raised the issue of how to safeguard basic needs and capabilities, ranging from productivity to education to food and health care systems.

“Considering the mandate of sovereign wealth funds in general, which is to make long-term generational investments that secure the country’s financial future, it makes sense that these investments point towards innovation that secures the future in other ways as well,” he said.

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Analysis: Be it Grab or Tokopedia, industry players outline Gojek’s possible merger impact on ad industry

Marketing Magazine

Jeffrey Seah, partner at Quest Ventures, said the advertising and marketing industries are traditionally organised by geography for decision-making and budget allocation. Ecosystem partnerships across geography markets have been entered into by multinational companies and regional brands, but traction of joint business plans (JBP) are often not uniform outside of host market. A Gojek-Tokopedia merger will allow marketers to enter into JBPs for the Indonesian market at the levels of Google or Facebook, which Seah said is “a scale unseen before in the marketing and data world”.

“The economic and ecosystem value realisation for a Gojek-Tokopedia merger will be more than the sum-of-the-parts approach, and concurrently provide a stronger pedestal ramp for future Indonesian ecosystem-originate maturing tech companies to exit,” he explained.

On the surface, both companies seem like a good fit for Gojek given their prominence in the industry. However, our experts say a Gojek-Tokopedia would make more sense. According to Quest Ventures’ Seah, a Gojek-Tokopedia merger will “reinforce Indonesia’s Pancasila state ideology” formulated by former President Sukarno. Pancasila comprises principles which include the unity of Indonesia and the idea of being governed by wise policies. According to Seah, a merger between the two Indonesian companies will been seen as the pride of an Indonesian government-led company driving an independent Indonesia economy.

“From an ecosystem development and start-up talent pride angle, Gojek-Tokopedia will be more welcomed and preferred for the vast and expansive Indonesian ecosystem. From a nationalistic angle, these two companies have rejuvenated the Indonesian formal employment market, raised access consumption, and brought about green shoots in the diversification of the Indonesian economy away from natural resources,” Seah explained. Compared to a merger with Grab, or as what Grab CEO Anthony Tan terms an “acquisition” in his internal note to employees, Seah said the cultural fit and speed of integration “will definitely be more frictionless” between Gojek and Tokopedia.

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